The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, attended today’s Remembrance Sunday service at Belfast City Hall, where he laid a wreath on behalf of the Government.
Mr Brokenshire joined other guests including the Lord Mayor, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Belfast and representatives of the Northern Ireland Executive and Irish Government, as well as serving and former members of the armed forces.
Speaking after the event, the Secretary of State said:
Today was my first time attending the Remembrance commemorations at Belfast City Hall, and I was honoured and humbled to represent the UK government at this very special service.
It is a privilege to attend commemorations of this nature and today, in the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme, was particularly poignant . I had the honour to attend commemorative services for the Battle of Guillemont and Ginchy in France in September of this year, and as I stood in that quiet part of Northern France, I was struck by the enormous loss that was endured by British and Irish forces. It is hard to imagine the horror of what those brave men must have endured over 100 years ago, and that is why it is important we gather today to remember that they paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom that we all enjoy today.
Just as in Great Britain, so across the island of Ireland there was virtually no corner left unaffected by the Battle of the Somme. The contribution and sacrifice of the men who fought in the battle was immense, and we should never forget it.
Also on Sunday, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Kris Hopkins, attended and laid a wreath on behalf of the UK Government at a special remembrance day service in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. This service was also attended by the Taoiseach and First Minister.